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Article  •  17 October 2019


Five Fast Facts about the Kaimanawas

Read five facts about the Kaimanawas from Taming the Wild by Kelly Wilson! 

  • The Kaimanawa horse developed from Exmoor and Welsh Mountain pony breeds that were released into the wild in the 1870s. These ponies were imported on sailing ships and were a big part of early settler life. As years went on, other horses escaped or were let loose in the area, contributing to what we now call the Kaimanawa.
  • Kaimanawa horses today have the highest amount of genetic similarity with the Thoroughbred and other Thoroughbred cross breeds. Arab, Standardbred and Clydesdale characteristics can also be seen in certain herds.

  • There is wide variation within the breed in appearance and impression, but in general they are well-muscled and between 12 and 15.2 hands high.
  • Wild Kaimanawas can be found in the central North Island Waiouru Military Training Area in New Zealand. They get their name from the Kaimanawa Ranges.

  • The number of wild Kaimanawa horses is kept to around 300. This is done with musters every two years. Without the musters, the landscape wouldn’t be able to support a greater population of wild horses.

Taming the Wild Kelly Wilson

An inspiring guide to acquiring, training and riding your very own wild horse.

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